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What have American soldiers been dying for in the Middle East?

September 26, 2017 | By | Reply More

At The Nation, Danny Sjursen, examining the track record for U.S. military intervention in the Middle East for the past couple of decades, asks whether the U.S. is a force for good, as U.S. politicians commonly assert.  There is no happy answer forthcoming:

If ever you have the urge to do just that, ask yourself the following question: Would I be able to confidently explain to someone’s mother what (besides his mates) her child actually died for?

What would you tell her? That he (or she) died to ensure Saudi hegemony in the Persian Gulf, or to facilitate the rise of ISIS, or an eternal Guantanamo, or the spread of terror groups, or the creation of yet more refugees for us to fear, or the further bombing of Yemen to ensure a famine of epic proportions?

Maybe you could do that, but I couldn’t and can’t. Not anymore, anyway. There have already been too many mothers, too many widows, for whom those explanations couldn’t be lamer. And so many dead—American, Afghan, Iraqi, and all the rest—that eventually I find myself sitting on a bar stool staring at the six names on those bracelets of mine, the wreckage of two wars reflecting back at me, knowing I’ll never be able to articulate a coherent explanation for their loved ones, should I ever have the courage to try.

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Atlas of Risk of Death and Causes of Death

June 5, 2017 | By | Reply More

According to this website, the British National Health Service developed two excellent graphics to illustrate the causes and risk of death.

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About Donald Trump’s Intelligence

December 18, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More

It’s not a pretty picture, as described in this article in Salon:

Donald has followed in his father’s corrupt footsteps. Trump’s career is littered with bogus businesses (like Trump University); repeated ripoffs of suppliers, contractors and employees whom he failed to pay for services rendered; and the misuse of the Trump Foundation to feather his own nest while trying to look like a philanthropist. Six of Trump’s businesses have gone bankrupt. Despite this, on April 18, 2015, Trump tweeted this falsehood: ”For all of the haters and losers out there sorry, I never went Bankrupt.”

Trump has also lied about the size of his wealth, as various business publications have pointed out. Many observers suggest that one reason Trump has refused to release his tax returns is that they will show that he has repeatedly and wildly exaggerated his wealth and thus his success.

Given this background — his lackluster academic record, his dependence on his family’s connections and wealth to get into college and to succeed in business, and his troublesome and abusive business practices — it shouldn’t be surprising that Trump is so insecure about his intellect and so thin-skinned about his accomplishments.

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Better Hosting for DI

April 4, 2016 | By | Reply More

For many months,It’s been as difficult to write posts as it has been to read posts at Dangerous Intersection. The problem has been with the hosting. I was at two different hosts over the past few years, struggling to get a combination of good speed and good price.

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Why the Milgram subjects acted heinously

February 25, 2016 | By | Reply More

A recent article in Scientific American explains the biology of why people are so willing to follow orders: Milgram’s research tackled whether a person could be coerced into behaving heinously, but new research released Thursday offers one explanation as to why. In particular, acting under orders caused participants to perceive a distance from outcomes that […]

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Republicans: Motivated by Fear

March 11, 2015 | By | 4 Replies More

Randa Morris of Addicting Information examines the root of modern right wing ideology:

We know that conservatives respond strongly to negative stimuli. We know that they are motivated by fear, or what researchers describe as ‘perceived threats’. We know that conservatives are often deeply insecure. Hibbings research also suggests that conservatives view themselves as part of a small group, and that they perceive those outside of the group as a threat to the well being of the group itself. That knowledge goes a long way toward explaining conservatives attitudes toward immigration as well as their hatred of minorities, non Christians and others who fall outside of their elite circle. Going one step further, it seems that there is a belief that everyone outside of the group is a threat to the group itself.

One thing we still don’t know is whether conservatives are born with these tendencies or whether they learn them throughout life. Is it nature or nurture? One thing is for sure, those at the top of the right wing food chain know very well how to exploit their base through fear and negativity. The extreme right wing operates very much like a religious cult. The main job of the cult leaders is to keep the members fearful and distrusting of everyone outside of the group, thus ensuring that they can continue to control the message.

I tend to believe that the right wing media is the cause of the underlying psychology that researchers observe in conservative personalities. Logically speaking, how many people would be afraid of absurd conspiracy theories like Agenda 21 or Obamacare death panels or FEMA camps, if the right wing media didn’t disseminate so many lies? The same goes for just about any of things that conservatives fear, from immigrant children to any form of sane gun control, the conservative media keeps these people afraid at all times.

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How to moonwalk

February 16, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More

You never know when you’ll need to moonwalk. Here is how to do it:

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The glue of high quality relationships

November 10, 2014 | By | Reply More

I’ve long ben familiar with John Gottman’s research on marital relationships. This Business Insider article sums up some of his main findings of what it is that makes a relationship work over the long term. Here’s an excerpt:

In the 2006 study, Gable and her colleagues followed up with the couples two months later to see if they were still together. The psychologists found that the only difference between the couples who were together and those who broke up was active constructive responding. Those who showed genuine interest in their partner’s joys were more likely to be together. In an earlier study, Gable found that active constructive responding was also associated with higher relationship quality and more intimacy between partners.

There are many reasons why relationships fail, but if you look at what drives the deterioration of many relationships, it’s often a breakdown of kindness. As the normal stresses of a life together pile up—with children, career, friend, in-laws, and other distractions crowding out the time for romance and intimacy—couples may put less effort into their relationship and let the petty grievances they hold against one another tear them apart.

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About achilles tendinitus

September 19, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More

I found myself in an unusual situation last week. A man kept reaching down and touching my feet while we were trying to have a conversation. It actually wasn’t so bad, because he was my new podiatrist, and he was excellent. I learned that I have achilles tendinitis. It’s time to implement several conservative measures and it will likely go away over the next few months. Which is good, because I hit a low yesterday, limping all day. It’s great to know what is going on, and now I also have x-rays of my feet as souvenirs (maybe I’ll frame them and put them on my walls). He said that this is not a disease, but an injury. It’s not an “old” person’s problem. He said that professional athletes have this issue. I think he was trying to portray me to be like a professional athlete.

For those in St. Louis, my new doctor’s name is Richard Brandel, DPM, a board certified podiatrist located in Clayton, MO. It was an amazingly pleasant experience. I called today, and the receptionist slipped me in a few hours later, due to a cancellation. Dr. Brandel spent LOTS of time explaining the situation to me in clear detail, answering all of my many questions for a condition that has frustrated me for several months.

The frustrating news is that it takes about as long to get over achilles tendinitis as it took to get into bad shape.

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